China and Japan set up battle for fifth place after separate wins
TEHRAN (FIBA Asia Challenge) - China and Japan will meet in the battle for fifth place tomorrow at the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 in Tehran, Iran. This came about after both teams won their classification games today. China beat Chinese Taipei in the first game, 88-66, while Japan prevailed over India in the second game, 77-66.
China got a big double-double from young center Hu Jinqiu, who bounced back after a lackluster outing yesterday against Iraq. The 18-year-old Hu scored 15 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, outplaying his Taipei counterpart Quincy Davis, who managed 16 points and 7 boards.
China had the better start in their game, leading, 15-7, after one quarter, and coach Li Nan’s side pretty much dictated the tempo from thereon. Taipei star Liu Cheng continued to be missin gin action due to a head injury, and this disadvantage really hurt coach Yan Jia-Hwa’s cause.
Fang Shuo also impressed for China with 25 points on the strength of 5 triples, while Hu’s frontcourt partner, Tao Hanlin, added 18 points and 7 rebounds. Aside from Davis, no other Taipei player scored in double-digits, with Lee Te-Wei’s 9 points second to Davis’s total.
China’s opponent tomorrow will be Japan, who cruised to a 77-66 victory over India. Naturalized player Ira Brown led the way with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 3 steals, while Makoto Hiejima and Ryusei Shinoyama added 19 and 12 points respectively. The twin tower pairing of Amritpal and Amjyot Singh led India with a combined 40 points.
The Akatsuki Five led by eight points at the end of the first quarter, but India managed to trim the deficit, 40-33, at the halftime break. India would never be able to take the lead in the second half, though, as Japan proved to be too poised.
By reaching the battle for fifth place, China and Japan, both East Asian teams, also ensured that their subzone would have an additional berth in the FIBA Asia Cup 2017. This result guarantees four East Asia teams will qualify for the said tournament, which will also include five West Asia teams, Australia, New Zealand and one each from Central Asia, South Asia, the Gulf and Southeast Asia. No host country has been named yet for next year’s centerpiece continental tournament.
China beat Chinese Taipei, 88-66
Japan beat India, 77-66